Grade: 11th Grade
School: Washington High School- Early College
Liza Wemakor is a Junior at Booker T. Washington High School-Early College. She also participates in the dual-enrollment program at Georgia State University. Liza has held the highest rank at her high school for three consecutive years, and her classmates and teachers commend her for her eloquence and academic prowess.
But, Ms. Wemakor’s worth reaches far beyond her transcript. She has grown substantially over the past years, breaking away from her timid tendencies by participating in essay and speech competitions and a Shakespearean play. Recently, Liza served as an intern at CNN, where she published her first article.
As she has evolved, one thing has remained a constant throughout her journey: her fierce ambition. People of any age struggle to maintain the drive needed to achieve their goals, but her motivation is natural to her. It could even be described as a part of who she is.
Her focus graces each and every one of her pursuits, but she is especially dedicated to her first love, writing. Accoridng to Liza, she is happiest when she is sitting in an English class, scribbling poetry and short stories in her notebook, or being captivated by a novel. Because of her immense passion for writing, Liza aspires to become an English professor and author.
When asked how she has stayed so level-headed, Ms. Wemakor gave one simple reply:
“I envision myself in the midst of greatness,” she explained. “At this point in life, I imagine excelling in college and furthering my ability to do what I have always loved—writing. If we follow our own definitions of greatness rather than allowing others to define it for us, we become unstoppable forces. There is no doubt that the Early College program has made me even more unstoppable.”
Grade: 8th Grade
School: Parks Middle School
Maurice Jones is an 8th grade student at Parks Middle School and has solid commitments to excellence inside and outside of the classroom. He is very active in sports and participates in football, basketball, baseball, and track. Maurice was the captain of the football team and is currently the captain of the L.E.A.D baseball team which encourages students to make the right decisions on and off the field.
As an active member of Parks’ Males on the Move boys mentoring program, he embodies the character traits of dedication, community service and stewardship. He also participates in community service through the Hosea Williams Feed the Hungry Foundation. In addition to his commitments on and off the field, he has remained focused and committed to his goal of one day attending the University of Alabama and playing football. Maurice also looks forward to taking advantage of the great academic program at University of Alabama by studying mechanical engineering. He believes his creativity and always “thinking outside the box” will allow him to have a successful career as a mechanical engineer. Based on his current and future goals, he has earned a place in the APS Student Spotlight.
written by Yashica Green, Media Specialist at Parks Middle School
Grade: 4th Grade
School: Dunbar Elementary
Keymontaye is known for his fun loving, entertaining personality! He loves attending Dunbar Elementary because he appreciates his teachers who love to teach and never give up on their students. They believe in each student’s potential and expect greatness from them.
Keymontaye entered Our Future Chefs National Competition this year, and his recipe was one of twelve to compete on March 9th at BEST Academy. Students in grades 3-5 submitted their favorite salad dish, and there were over 160 submissions from eleven different APS Elementary Schools. The salad recipe was judged based on the following categories: originality, kid friendliness, ease of preparation, best use of featured ingredients, taste, and plate presentation. The competition continues to build momentum as an exciting and engaging way to encourage student participation in a fun and rewarding recipe contest.
“I decided to enter the chef competition because I knew I had the confidence and personality,” Keymontaye says. “I want everyone to know that I am a great scholar, entertainer, and future chef!”
written by Tomiko Cobb, Media Specialist at Dunbar
Name: Sydney Faux
School: Garden Hills Elementary
Life has taught many of us that things aren’t always as they seem; just because something appears to be one way does not necessarily mean that’s the way it is. Sydney Faux is great example of this. Although her last name looks like it should be pronounced “foe”, it is actually pronounced “fox”. And even though Sydney’s third-grade stature made her look non-threatening to her sixth, seventh and eighth grade spelling bee opponents earlier this year, her performance at the bee proved to everyone that her third-grade brain was a force to be reckoned with.
Sydney may not have won this year’s district-wide spelling bee, but trouncing her middle school competitors and finishing third is certainly nothing to scoff at. And since she has won spelling bees at her school two years in a row, Sydney says she is very pleased with her strong finish at the district-level.
The pint-sized prodigy also impressed Atlanta Public Schools Technology Fair judges last month with a pretty spectacular project about how she won the Garden Hills spelling bee two years in a row. The APS Technology Fair gives 3rd-12th grade students interested in science, engineering and technology an opportunity to showcase their efforts and interests, and inspires them to pursue careers in those fields. Sydney’s project was such a hit, she won first place in the Multi-media Applications category, and she has already begun thinking about next year’s fair.
Sydney says she really enjoyed traveling to Macon for the student technology fair. Whether traveling for fun, or for educational purposes, Sydney loves to travel. In fact, in January she traveled to Washington D.C. to witness the presidential inauguration.
As a student in the talented and gifted program, Sydney is an inquisitive student who makes excellent grades, and gets along very well with others. And don’t be fooled if you spot her sitting quietly, escaping to her thoughts — something she does often; remember, with Sydney things are not always as they seem. She is, in fact, very outgoing. Staff at Garden Hills describe the third-grader as a natural leader and a risk-taker.
In addition to traveling, Sydney enjoys reading and spending time with her family. This summer she would like to attend robotics camp at Georgia Tech.